Researchers are exploring the feasibility of reintroducing ocelots to a portion of their historical range in South Texas. The project is focused on reintroducing the endangered species to a portion of its range that is distinct from where current populations exist. The team includes researchers from the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute in partnership with the East Foundation, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo, the University of Tennessee Comparative and Experimental Medicine Program and Center for Wildlife Health, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Researchers hope to determine potential reintroduction sites, sourcing individuals to create a new population, strategies to release them, management plans and long-term viability. Fewer than 100 ocelots occur in the wild in the U.S.